Only a few days after Ebay kicked all of the sellers auctioning virtual goods, including World of Warcraft gold, off their auction site, Blizzard decided they needed to take some action as well to stem the flow of real money trading for virtual goods.
This comes upon the heels of Blizzard's wide-scale actions last year when they banned close to 60,000 World of Warcraft accounts for terms of service violations. This year it is going to be the gold farmers who are on the run. Blizzard recently announced in their forums that they have "filed a federal lawsuit against the operators of Peons4hire, a popular gold-selling organization. As part of the lawsuit, the operators of Peons4hire have been asked to immediately cease all in-game spamming efforts by all entities and websites under their control."
Since these gold farmers use bots to spam other users within the game, they are very disruptive to other Warcraft players, especially if you are trying to do some grinding or gold farming on your own. In addition, real money transfers for virtual goods is not in the spirit of WoW game-play as it gives players with more disposable income unfair advantages in the game.
Thankfully, since the release of Blizzard's spam filters, a lot of the worst spam has stopped, but it will take a lot more diligence on Blizzard's part to finally put the trade in real money for gold to bed. This first round of cease and desist orders, though, is a step in the right direction. Combined with Ebay's actions, this should go a long way to level the playing field for players who want to just enjoy the game without spending hundreds of dollars just to keep up with other players. It is definitely an excellent first move and it will be interesting to see how they follow-up.